W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-lod@w3.org > September 2009

Re: Making human-friendly linked data pages more human-friendly

From: Kingsley Idehen <kidehen@openlinksw.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 2009 09:20:05 -0400
Message-ID: <4AAF9485.6050300@openlinksw.com>
To: Wolfgang Orthuber <orthuber@kfo-zmk.uni-kiel.de>
CC: public-lod@w3.org
Wolfgang Orthuber wrote:
> Linking of data can be very successful, if it is not restricted to RDF 
> enthusiasts. In this case the
> vocabulary can grow extremely. Consider e.g. integration of healthcare 
> data. Existing vocabularies like SNOMED
> CT
> http://www.ihtsdo.org/news/article/view/snomed-ct-and-interoperable-healthcare-conference-tutorials-tuesday-1st-july-2008/ 
> contain about 400000 concepts with increasing tendency.
> So if the vocabulary is huge, it is not adequate, that the browser 
> software knows about the information for
> human readable representation, but it could know how to download this 
> information from the web using the
> linked data concept.
> If http URIs are used as identifier, it is possible to store the 
> information for human readable representation
> at the location where the http URI points to.
> Are there up to now rules for this?
HTML+RDFa in the current pages is coming. Ditto some additional links 
via <link/>.

This satisfies the Linked Data component, the rest is down to the 
principle of: leveraging the ability to explore data about the same 
thing in different ways, via your own context lenses, in line with your 
own world view and data analysis objectives etc..

Linked Data is really about a multi-dimensional data interaction 
experience that is cognizant of the beholder's contextual fluidity, 
above everything else.

Re. the Document Web: Content is King.  Whereas, in Web of Linked Data 
case: Context is King :-)

> Best
> Wolfgang
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Cyganiak" 
> <richard@cyganiak.de>
> To: "Matthias Samwald" <samwald@gmx.at>
> Cc: <public-lod@w3.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:46 PM
> Subject: Re: Making human-friendly linked data pages more 
> human-friendly (was: dbpedia not very visible, nor
> fun)
>> Hi Matthias,
>> Please allow me to present a contrarian argument.
>> First, there are some datasets that combine linked data output with 
>> a  traditional website, e.g., by
>> embedding some RDFa markup. Of course,  in that case, all the rules 
>> of good web design and information
>> presentation still apply, and the site has to first and foremost  
>> fulfill the visitor's information needs in
>> order to be successful.  That's self-evident and not what we are 
>> talking about here.
>> Most linked data is different. The main purpose is not to create a 
>> web  site where visitors go to look up
>> stuff. The main purpose is to  publish data in a re-usable way, in 
>> order to allow repurposing of the  data
>> in new applications.
>> In that case, the "audience" for the human-readable versions of the  
>> RDF data is *not* a visitor that came
>> to the site while googling for  some bit of information. It's more 
>> likely to be a data analyst, mashup
>> developer, or integration engineer. So what I suggest is to think of  
>> these pages not as something that end
>> users see, but rather as  something akin to Javadoc. Javadoc pages 
>> are auto-generated pages that  describe a
>> public interface of your system. Linked data pages are the  same, but 
>> rather than a Java API, they describe
>> your URI space. And  unlike Javadoc, they are directly connected to 
>> the documented  artifacts (URIs).
>> I think that the pages should mostly answer the following questions:  
>> What concept is identified? What
>> *exactly* is the URI of this concept  (careful with /html or #this at 
>> the end)? Who curates this identifier?
>> Can I trust it to be stable? Most linked data pages actually do a  
>> fairly decent job at answering these.
>> Every data publisher has limited resources, and spending them on  
>> prettifying the HTML views is very
>> low-impact. It's much more  important to increase data quality, 
>> publish more data,  improve other
>> documentation, and create compelling demos/apps on top of the data.  
>> The "namespace documentation" is
>> usually good enough, and the  geekiness of the pages actually helps 
>> to drive home the point that  it's about
>> *re-using this data elsewhere*, rather than looking at the  data in 
>> the boring old web browser.
>> That being said, of course nicer-looking pages that present  
>> information in a more useful way are of course
>> always better, but  that's a somewhat secondary problem in the linked 
>> data context.
>> Best,
>> Richard
>> On 15 Sep 2009, at 10:08, Matthias Samwald wrote:
>>> A central idea of linked data is, in my understanding, that every  
>>> resource has not only a HTTP -
>>> resolvable RDF description of itself,  but also a human-friendly 
>>> rendering that can be viewed in a web
>>> browser. With the increasing popularity of RDFa, the URIs of these  
>>> resources are not only hidden away in
>>> triplestores, but become  increasingly exposed on web pages. People 
>>> want to click on them,  and, hopefully,
>>> not all of these people come from the core community  of RDF 
>>> enthusiasts.
>>> This means that the HTML rendering of linked data resources might  
>>> need to look a bit sexier than it does
>>> today. I dare to say that the  Pubby-esque rendering of DBpedia 
>>> pages such as
>>> http://dbpedia.org/page/Primary_motor_cortex
>>> is helpful to get a quick overview of the RDF triples about this  
>>> resource, but non-RDF-enthusiasts would
>>> not find it very inviting.
>>> This could be improved by changes in the layout, and possibly a  
>>> manually curated ordering of properties.
>>> For example,
>>> http://d.opencalais.com/er/company/ralg-tr1r/f8a13a13-8dbc-3d7e-82b6-1d7968476cae.html 
>>> definitely looks more inviting than the typical DBpedia page 
>>> (albeit  still a bit sterile).
>>> In the case of DBpedia, it might be better to expose the excellent  
>>> human-readable Wikipedia page for each
>>> resource, plus a prominently  positioned 'show raw data' tab at the 
>>> top. For other linked data  resources
>>> that are not derived from existing human-friendly web  pages, a few 
>>> stylistic changes (ala OpenCalais)
>>> already might  improve the situation a lot.
>>> Note that this comment is not intended to be a criticism of 
>>> DBpedia,  but of all Linked Data resources that
>>> expose HTML descriptions of  resources. DBpedia is just the most 
>>> popular example.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Matthias Samwald
>>> DERI Galway, Ireland
>>> http://deri.ie/
>>> Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution & Cognition Research, Austria
>>> http://kli.ac.at/
>>> --------------------------------------------------
>>> From: "Danny Ayers" <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
>>> Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:03 AM
>>> To: <public-lod@w3.org>
>>> Subject: dbpedia not very visible, nor fun
>>>> It seems I have a Wikipedia page in my name (ok, I only did fact- 
>>>> check
>>>> edits, ok!?). So tonight I went looking for the corresponding  
>>>> triples,
>>>> looking for my ultimate URI...
>>>> Google "dbpedia" => front page, with news
>>>> on the list on the left is "Online Access"
>>>> what do you get?
>>>> [[
>>>> The DBpedia data set can be accessed online via a SPARQL query
>>>> endpoint and as Linked Data.
>>>> Contents
>>>> 1. Querying DBpedia
>>>> 1.1. Public SPARQL Endpoint
>>>> 1.2. Public Faceted Web Service Interface
>>>> 1.3. Example queries displayed with the Berlin SNORQL query explorer
>>>> 1.4. Examples rendering DBpedia Data with Google Map
>>>> 1.5. Example displaying DBpedia Data with Exhibit
>>>> 1.6. Example displaying DBpedia Data with gFacet
>>>> 2. Linked Data
>>>> 2.1. Background
>>>> 2.2. The DBpedia Linked Data Interface
>>>> 2.3. Sample Resources
>>>> 2.4. Sample Views of 2 Sample DBpedia Resources
>>>> 3. Semantic Web Crawling Sitemap
>>>> ]]
>>>> Yeah. Unless you're a triplehead none of these will mean a thing.  
>>>> Even
>>>> then it's not obvious.
>>>> Could someone please stick something more rewarding near the top! I
>>>> don't know, maybe a Google-esque text entry form field for a regex on
>>>> the SPARQL. Anything but blurb.
>>>> Even being relatively familiar with the tech, I still haven't a clue
>>>> how to take my little query (do I have a URI here?) forward.
>>>> Presentation please.
>>>> Cheers,
>>>> Danny.
>>>> -- 
>>>> http://danny.ayers.name



Kingsley Idehen	      Weblog: http://www.openlinksw.com/blog/~kidehen
President & CEO 
OpenLink Software     Web: http://www.openlinksw.com
Received on Tuesday, 15 September 2009 13:20:47 UTC

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